Friday, August 8, 2014

Good evening from Finca La Anita! This morning consisted of us working hard on our science projects. We finalized our ideas with Andy (on staff scientist) and began collecting our preliminary data.

Whilst in the field collecting leaf cutter ants, we witnessed an enormous raid of army ants obliterating any and all insects that stood in their path. We conducted our own "research" by throwing the various insects we found into their way, only to see them overwhelmed and taken away by the army ants. The sight was both inspiring and terrifying to see the small ants swarm the forest and consume everything in their path. For the first time on the trip we felt truly afraid as Andy explained to us that if we were to come in contact with the bivouac (the colony that the ants built out of their own bodies) the entire colony could swarm us which could potentially be very dangerous.
After our humbling experience with the army ants, we spent the rest of the day collecting our data and developing our procedures for our experiments. We worked hard until 4:30 and then we went into town for a traditional Costa Rican meal cooked by a local woman named Araceli, and with our help, we cooked a delicious meal consisting of chicken, rice and beans, salad and a mix of peppers.
The meal was delicious and after we finished dinner we all went into the house for a dance party with Araceli's daughter Alejandra.

After a few hours of dancing we left Araceli's house to collect our nightly data, and then Tommy and Ben proceeded to write the blog while Justin attempted to catch an enormous moth which was flying around the deck before it finally flew outside. Just another day in the rainforest.
Buenos noches,
Tommy Costello, Ben Eliason, Justin Stewart

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